Annual Report: Madagascar 2010

Report
May 28, 2010

Annual Report: Madagascar 2010

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Head of state Andry Nirina Rajoelina (replaced Marc Ravalomanana in March)
Head of government Camille Albert Vital (replaced Cécile Manorohanta in December, who replaced Eugène Mangalaza in December, who replaced Monja Roindofo in October who replaced
Charles Rabemananjara in March)

Death penalty abolitionist in practice
Population 19.6 million
Life expectancy 59.9 years
Under-5 mortality (m/f) 105/95 per 1,000
Adult literacy 70.7 per cent

A political crisis sparked widespread human rights violations. Security forces used excessive force against demonstrators, killing dozens of people and injuring hundreds. Members of the opposition were arbitrarily arrested and detained. Freedom of peaceful assembly and expression was denied. The right to a fair trial was not respected. Impunity for human rights violations reigned.

Background

On 17 March, Andry Nirina Rajoelina, former mayor of Antananarivo, proclaimed himself President of the High Transitional Authority (Haute Autorité de la Transition, HAT) following months of tension with the government of President Marc Ravalomanana. Andry Rajoelina publicly accused Marc Ravalomanana of misusing the country's wealth and called for his resignation. He also organized mass demonstrations against the government. Under pressure, President Ravalomanana transferred his authority to a military directorate which in turn transferred it to Andry Rajoelina. The Malagasy High Constitutional Court validated both transfers of authority. The new President later suspended the National Assembly and Senate, and declared an unlimited "state of exception", suspending many constitutional rights. The HAT was not recognized by regional and international bodies, and Madagascar was suspended by the African Union.

An International Contact Group convened to find a solution to the political crisis. An agreement was signed in August in Maputo, Mozambique by all political parties involved in the crisis, including Andry Rajoelina and former Presidents Didier Ratsiraka, Albert Zafy and Marc Ravalomanana, but it was not implemented. On 6 October, Eugène Mangalaza was appointed Prime Minister. An additional agreement was signed in November in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. In December, President Rajoelina appointed Colonel Camille Albert Vital as Prime Minister.

In March, the HAT established the Commission nationale mixte d'enquête (CNME) as an "operative instrument enabling the HAT to exercise its judicial and security activities relating to unlawful acts committed before, during and after the crisis". The CNME replaced in practice the prosecutor's office and the regular judicial system. The CNME was later replaced by the Forces d'intervention spéciale (FIS) with a similar mandate. The two institutions were perceived by many as HAT political bodies used to repress political opponents.

Excessive use of force and unlawful killings

Security forces under both governments used excessive force against demonstrators, resulting in deaths and injuries. No independent and impartial investigations were conducted into such incidents.